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189 people are feared dead after an Indonesian flight crashed into the sea

An aircraft with 189 people on board is believed to have sunk after crashing into the sea off Indonesia's island of Java on Monday.

It happened shortly after takeoff from the capital. The Lion Air flight, JT610, a Boeing 737 MAX, lost contact 13 minutes after takeoff. Its last recorded position was about 15 km (9 miles) north of the Indonesian coastline.  Debris from the plane, including aircraft seats, was found near an offshore refining facility in the Java Sea, an official of state energy firm Pertamina said. Wreckage had been found near where the plane lost contact with air traffic officials on the ground, said Muhmmad Syaugi, the head of the search and rescue agency. No distress signal had been received from the aircraft's emergency locator transmitter.

Lion-Air-flight
A Lion Air flight

It was not known if there are survivors, Muhmmad Syaugi, the head of the search and rescue agency declared. The cause of the crash was not yet determined. Some data will be collected from the control tower. The effort to locate the wreckage and retrieve the black bloxes will represent the second major deep sea recovery challenge for Indonesian investigators after an AirAsia Airbus jet crashed into the Java Sea in December 2015. "We cannot give any comment at this moment," Edward Sirait, chief executive of Lion Air Group, told media. Founded in 1999, Lion Air's only fatal accident to date was in 2004, when an MD-82 crashed upon landing at Solo City, killing 25 of the 163 people on board.

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